KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is open to settling a legal dispute with Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee over a live video posted on Facebook about the tabling of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).
Najib's lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said the court has advised for parties to sit down and do thorough analysis of the pleadings, writ, statement of claim and defence to find facts that could be agreed on and those that could not be agreed on.
Presiding judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab wanted for parties to do this to facilitate and cut short the trial from prolonging too long, Hafarizam said.
"The judge had asked for parties to literally sit down and not just through fax or email, to see if we could agree on the facts or can we agree on settlement.
"My client is open to any settlement offer but it has to be worth the offer to settle because this is defamation and in the course of looking into the facts that could and could not be agreed on, parties might want to explore settlement," the lawyer said after the matter came up for case managment in chambers.
The court fixed Oct 13 for further case management.
On April 21, Najib sued Pua claiming that the 2-minute-21-second video recording containing the alleged defamatory statement uploaded on Pua's Facebook page 'Tony Pua', entitled "BN abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS RUU355 Private Member's Bill" was specifically directed at him.
He claims there was malice in Pua's statement in the live video uploaded on April 6 and that it was made with bad intention to defame Najib.
Najib is seeking for general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to prevent the defendant – either by himself or any of his agents, in whatever way – from publishing further statements that are defamatory in nature.
He is also seeking for the defendant to publish an unequivocal written apology in at least two newspapers.